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How To Cure a Sick Cockatiel? Home remedies + Signs

Mackenzie Gary



Cockatiels try to hide their illness. They are highly adapted to hide their physical or mental illness. However, to know when your bird is sick, it is important to observe their behavior while they are healthy.

This way you will be able to find out what is not normal for your cockatiel. Daily communication with your cockatiel will make it much easier for you to know when the bird is not feeling well.

Cockatiels are very sociable birds and love to form associations. Sick cockatiels don’t like to be found and this is a great sign to look for when a bird is sick. Crested cockatiels mostly hang out at the bottom of their cages and feel bored, tired, and lacking in energy.

When you notice that your cockatiel is not interested in the activities that he normally likes to do. suspected disease. Do you want to know more information about when a cockatiel is sick? Then, you will definitely find this information below. Continue reading to learn the symptoms of sick cockatiels, their common ailments, treatment options, and related home remedies. So, let’s begin.

Symptoms of a sick cockatiel:

Changes in behavior and sleep patterns.

Sick cockatiels have abnormal sleep patterns and you will notice some changes in their behavior. If your cockatiel is sleeping more or less than usual. This indicates that your cockatiel is not feeling well.

Cockatiels usually sleep about 10-12 hours a night and are willing to nap 2-3 times a day. If you find that your cockatiel is sleeping through the day even after a good night’s sleep, it could be a sign that he is suffering from an illness.

Also, if you notice your bird sleeping differently than on normal days. This may indicate that your cockatiel is not well.

Also, look for any changes in the cockatiel’s behavior or character. If your bird does not like to come to you or eat as usual. Your bird is feeling sick. Sometimes, cockatiels also go through mental illness and show some signs of it. For example:

  • Decreased vocalization.
  • Screaming or biting.
  • Feather picking.
  • Self-mutilation.
  • Feeling aggressive.
  • Being unresponsive.
  • Finding no interest in any activity.
  • Feeling bored.
  • Showing stereotypical behavior such as toe-tapping or head swinging.
  • Feeling depressed.

If you experience any of the above symptoms with your cockatiel; Be ready to give him the necessary treatment to restore his physical and mental health.

Decreased activity level.

Cockatiels are responsible and active birds. They like to feel active with their owners. If you notice that your bird’s activity level is lower than normal. Your bird is definitely getting sick. Some signs of lethargy include ignoring you when you are around, not being able to fly or exercise, flapping wings, ignoring movement or sound, etc.

It is important to monitor your bird’s normal activity level so you know when the bird is not well. For this, you need to spend time with your bird regularly to learn what is normal for your cockatiel.

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Change in tone of voice.

Another sign of depression is a change in tone of voice. A change in the tone of a cockatiel’s voice reflects some kind of physical or mental illness. This symptom may appear completely or may be accompanied by other symptoms indicating a disease.

If you notice that your cockatiel is unable to sing due to lack of voice or constant crying, your bird is feeling weak.

Sick cockatiels have a weak voice and general lethargy. They mostly ignore what’s going on around them and become self-absorbed due to lack of interest. When your cockatiel isn’t paying attention to the sounds or movements around him. Make sure he is comforted with some kind of treat.

Changes in appetite.

If your cockatiel is eating more or less than his usual day. This is a sign that the bird is feeling sick. Stress or depression significantly affects feeding behavior and the bird may eat less or more than expected.

Cockatiels eating behavior determines both physical and mental illness and should be addressed appropriately.

Depressed or stressed cockatiels may lose or gain weight with changes in their appetite levels. Visit your nearest doctor to treat the underlying cause of your cockatiel.

Drink more water.

Sick cockatiels drink more water than usual. This is also an important sign to look for. Most cockatiels drink about a teaspoon of water per day. When cockatiels get sick, they drink more water due to vomiting or diarrhea.

However, excessive drinking does not necessarily indicate that your cockatiel is sick. Here are some points that you need to be sure of before understanding the symptoms of the disease.

  • Cockatiels can drink more water if the room is too hot or warm. If your cockatiel is drinking more water; make sure you employ an adequate temperature in the room. A temperature that falls between 65-80 degrees of Fahrenheit is well suited to cockatiels.
  • Find out the level of salt in your cockatiel’s food. Cockatiels drink more water when the food is too salty. Choose a food that has a balanced amount of salt in it.
  • If your cockatiel is too active; it might drink more water. If you do not observe any other symptom of illness; do not confuse an active and ill cockatiel. Look for other signs to be assured whether your cockatiel is really ill or not.
  • Cockatiels who feed their young ones usually drink more water than usual. They need more energy for feeding their little ones. Therefore, examine thoroughly to be assured of their illness.

Other signs to look for:

There are many other signs you can look for to identify a sick cockatiel. For instance:

  • Puffed up feathers.
  • Swelling in the eyes.
  • Change in droppings.
  • Flaking of the beak.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Untidy appearance.
  • Soiled vent.
  • Disorientation.
  • Tail is constantly moving.
  • Discharge from the nostrils, beak, or eyes.
  • Swelling in the body.
  • Vomiting.
  • Baldness.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Bleeding.

Common diseases and their treatment:

It is common for cockatiels to suffer from some type of illness. While there are many diseases that a cockatiel can suffer from. But the following information will reflect the most common diseases that a cockatiel usually suffers from.


Malnourished cockatiels appear pale, lethargic and have less stamina. If your bird is suffering from this condition; It is probably deficient in calcium, magnesium and protein.

Treatment: Keeping your cockatiel healthy and active requires a balanced diet. It is necessary to consult a doctor in this regard. In general, you can add organic pellets to your cockatiel’s diet to help him recover.

Offer him nutritious food like peanuts, millet spray and sunflower seeds. It should be noted that fatty foods should only be used as treats or as reinforcements for training sessions.

They should not be eaten regularly by your cockatiel.

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Respiratory diseases

Cockatiels become prone to respiratory diseases when they are exposed to environmental toxins in their environment. These toxins include aerosol sprays, cigarette smoke, Teflon-coated appliances, etc.

If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sneezing, sinus swelling, or a change in your cockatiel’s voice. He may suffer from respiratory disease.

Treatment: Treatment options for respiratory infections include supportive care (correct amount of oxygen, heat, fluids, etc.), gavage feeding, nebulization, and culture-sensitive antibiotics.

Lead poisoning

An estimated 16 million birds suffer from lead poisoning each year. Cockatiels that suffer from lead poisoning have a decreased activity level, feel depressed, drool, and don’t eat enough. Lead poisoning is a serious illness that must be treated promptly.

Treatment options: Most veterinarians use the metal chelating agent calcium EDTA to treat lead poisoning in birds. The drug is injected through the birds’ intestines or kidneys to trap lead.

Chronic depression

Cockatiels can suffer from chronic depression. This can be due to various reasons such as hormonal imbalance, yeast or fungal infection, viral or bacterial infection, organ problem, or otherwise.

Chronic depression in birds can sometimes lead to self-destructive behavior and should be given due consideration.

Treatment: Always visit your nearest vet if you notice anything unusual in your cockatiel. Be patient to treat your depressed cockatiel. Sometimes, the time factor plays an important role in the treatment of a bird especially when the bird loses its companion.

Communicate with your bird daily and involve him in activities he likes to do.

Reproductive problems

It is common for cockatiels to suffer from reproductive problems. These include problems like reproductive failure, fallopian tube involvement, excessive egg production, neoplasia, egg binding etc. Sometimes it becomes difficult for the bird to lay eggs due to obstruction. However, it can be treated.

Treatment: Surgery is required if the cockatiel suffers from neoplasia or has a concomitant infection. Most often, reproductive problems in cockatiels are treated with supportive care, antimicrobials, abdominocentesis, GnRH agonists, and reduction of cyst size. However, individual cases differ from each other.

Xanthomas or wing tumors.

A cockatiel can also suffer from a condition known as Xanthomas or wing tumors. This tumor is mostly found in the arm or leg of birds. It is a cancer of the connective tissue that grows on the long bone.

Treatment: Surgery is usually used to treat this disease. Surgery can be more difficult depending on the size and location of the tumor. If the lump is diagnosed as a tumor; Surgical removal becomes necessary.

Have your cockatiel diagnosed with the problem he is experiencing so that the appropriate treatment can be chosen. The treatment options are discussed below so that you can consult your nearest doctor.

Moreover, if you want to take care of your cockatiel yourself, you will find some valuable home remedies in the article. So, let’s start with treatment methods that are suitable for cockatiels.

Home remedies to cure sick cockatiel

Keep your bird comfortable by offering the right temperature.

Sick cockatiels need warmth to feel comfortable. Offer your sick cockatiel the right temperature to make him feel better. Keeping the temperature around 90 degrees Fahrenheit is good for your sick cockatiel.

For this you can install a heat lamp in the bird cage or use a heating pad instead. In any case, place it under the bird’s cage and cover it with a blanket. Warmer temperatures will surely soothe your cockatiel. You also need to be careful to make sure your bird’s place is warm. For this you can do the following steps.

  • Check the cage’s temperature several times during the day. It should be around 32 degrees Celsius.
  • The heat lamp can be purchased from any pet store. However, if you did not find one, then, look for 40-60 watts of the green bulb. It works well to keep a warm temperature.
  • You must know the body temperature of your cockatiel before making such an arrangement. If the cockatiel suffers from fever; then, you do not need to keep the temperature warm. Otherwise, the bird’s wings will be raised and they would be harmful to the bird.
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Keep it in a quiet place and provide it with diffused sunlight.

Another home remedy for curing your cockatiel is to provide it with sunlight and a quiet place. A sick cockatiel wants to rest in an environment that soothes him physically and mentally.

Give him comfort and a relaxing environment so that he feels better again. For diffused light, you can put a thin curtain over the window. Curtains should be made of silk organza or thin cotton material.

Use a humidifier to add moisture to your bird’s environment.

A humid environment is suitable for cockatiels that suffer from respiratory diseases. Keep the airways moist so your cockatiel can breathe easily. You can place a vaporizer or humidifier near the bird’s cage to facilitate this.

Although humidifiers are mostly used to treat respiratory ailments, you can also use them when your bird feels sick. It will never harm the bird. Instead, it will help maintain the ideal temperature in the bird’s space.

Eliminate potential sources of disease in the bird cage.

It is important to eliminate sources of disease in the bird cage so that germs and bacteria cannot grow there. You have to remove the food from the bird’s cage that was placed before the bird fell ill.

Contaminated feed can be the primary source of bird disease. So, remove all the old food and replace it with new food. Offer your bird fresh food and a nutritious diet to strengthen its immune system.

Also, keep your bird’s cage clean. You can buy bird-safe cleaner at a pet store to do this. Otherwise, you can also clean it manually. Remove seeds and waste material from the floor of the cage. Also clean the sides of the cage to ensure your bird is living in a safe environment.

Reduce the stress level for your bird so it feels comfortable.

Calm your cockatiel and make sure he gets enough sleep. Keep the bird’s cage in a quiet place and do not knock or touch the cage too often. Create a quiet environment for your cockatiel to rest undisturbed.

Obtaining veterinary care:

If you find that home remedies aren’t working for your cockatiel or if symptoms get worse, see a vet as soon as possible.

  • Get immediate veterinary care.
  • Go for a diagnosis.
  • Follow the veterinarian’s instructions properly to save your bird.

Can Cockatiels Recover from Illness?

Cockatiels recover from illness provided they are given adequate nutrition. Malnourished cockatiels have weakened immune systems and are prone to disease. Without a well-balanced and adequate diet; Cockatiels do not heal themselves.

So, make sure that your cockatiel is getting the right amount of food to fight the disease he is suffering from. If your cockatiel is not ready to eat or drink; See a doctor as soon as possible.


It is normal for cockatiels to feel sick. Symptoms can vary among cockatiels depending on age, culture, location and condition of the bird. Take some time out of your daily schedule to find out if your cockatiel needs help.

Cockatiels mostly hide their illness. So, never leave your bird unattended. Otherwise, they may develop a serious illness that can be difficult to treat. We hope you have benefited from the above information and will keep a close eye on your cockatiel to keep it healthy.